The IAA has found a stout defender of the industry as a new chief.
Keith Holloway, the incoming president of the International Advertising
Association, promises to be a formidable champion for the industry
against what are being seen as increasingly hostile attacks by TV and
Emotional outbursts by a few over-sensitive creatives given a hard time
by the tabloids are one thing. But their paranoia becomes harder to
dismiss when Holloway, Grand Metropolitan’s commercial director, shows
Holloway’s belief that the media is running a sustained campaign of
animosity towards advertising can’t be brushed aside lightly. An
advertiser of vast experience, he commands respect across the industry
as a client whose criticism of agencies has been controversial but never
‘Keith is one of the best clients I’ve known,’ says Bill Thompson, a
founding partner of Waldron Allen Henry and Thompson, who worked with
Holloway on Webster’s Yorkshire Bitter and the national launch of
‘He was one of the few who could be critical of my work, yet end up
winning me over.’
Chris Powell, a former president of the Institute of Practitioners in
Advertising, believes the industry owes Holloway a huge debt of
gratitude. He played a considerable part in engineering the growing
rapprochement between the IPA and the Incorporated Society of British
So why does such a steadfast supporter of the advertising industry
believe it is getting such a rotten deal from the British media?
Holloway isn’t sure. But he believes it’s significant that no similar
attacks are mounted by media in the US, where the ad industry enjoys a
status born of maturity.
Holloway’s worry is that it may be symptomatic of the burgeoning threats
posed by well-organised narrow-interest groups for whom advertising is
an obvious lightning conductor.
No single pressure group can inflict great damage on the industry but
their cumulative effect is potentially serious, he warns. ‘If we’re not
very careful, freedom of speech faces death by a thousand cuts.’